Emmi has acquired US goat’s milk processor Jackson-Mitchell, its latest investment in the ‘attractive’ goat’s milk market.
Jackson-Mitchell, which markets goat’s milk products under the Meyenberg brand, is a supplier of fresh, evaporated and powdered goat’s milk in the US market. Its addition, Emmi said, represented ‘a further goat’s milk processor that can be very well integrated into the existing network’.
Meyenberg distributes its products across the US through national supermarket chains, regional retailers and speciality businesses – and employs 30 people across two production sites in Turlock, California and Yellville, Arkansas.
It already works with Cypress Grove and Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery – the goat’s milk brands acquired by Swiss-based Emmi in 2010 and 2015 respectively – and generated annual sales of almost $30 million at the last count.
Emmi’s executive vice-president Americas, Matthias Kunz, said: “Goat’s milk is in high demand and short supply in the US, but it is also a very challenging product as a result of its highly seasonal nature. We hope that Meyenberg’s excellent relations with goat’s milk farmers in California, Idaho, Kansas and Missouri will result in opportunities for both of our Californian goat’s milk processors, Cypress Grove and Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, and that we will be able to even better meet the growing demand for these products as a result.”
Jackson-Mitchell itself has some Swiss heritage: Harold Jackson – the father of the current co-owner – acquired the company that was founded by John P Meyenberg, the son of a Swiss immigrant, in 1934.
It will now join Emmi’s portfolio of goat’s milk companies, which as well as Cypress Grove and Redwood Hill includes the Dutch goat’s cheese manufacturer Bettinehoeve, in which it acquired a 60% stake in February 2016, as well as Spain’s Lácteos Caprinos.
It’s almost a year since the company bought out the remaining shares in organic milk processor Gläserne Molkerei.
Emmi will acquire Meyenberg from the co-owner Jackson and Mitchell families. The company’s continued existence and highly personal corporate culture is extremely important to them, as 89-year-old Meyenberg CEO Robert Jackson explained.
“Since there is no successor in place from within the family, we took our time coming to a decision on the future of our family company,” said Meyenberg. “We saw how successful the acquisition of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery was and became convinced that we would be able to trust Emmi with our company as well. Continuity is very important to us.”
Robert Jackson, the current CEO, will continue in his role during the transition period and also assist with the search for a suitable successor as a member of the board. COO Frank Fillman and CFO Dough Buehrle, who have been employed by Jackson-Mitchell for many years, will remain in their positions.
Both parties have agreed not to publicly disclose the purchase price.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020